Blockchain

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and hedge fund company Polychain Capital are investing $61 million into a non-profit organization that wants to develop a decentralized ‘Internet computer’ using the blockchain.

Swiss-based DFINITY Stiftung has announced that $21 million of the $61 million will go toward the development of the network, with the rest of the funding allocated to DFINITY’s Ecosystem Venture Fund, reports Reuters.

According to its website, DFINITY is ‘building a new kind of public decentralized cloud computing resource,’ which ‘rests upon a new blockchain computer that is similar in concept to Ethereum but has vastly improved performance and, ultimately, unlimited capacity.’

The funding invested by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) and San Francisco-based Polychain Capital brings the total project funding to over $100 million.

Speaking to Business Insider, Dominic Williams, DFINITY’s president and chief scientist, said that DFINITY’s next-generation technology will allow applications and companies to be built on a decentralized ‘cloud 3.0.’

We’re building a system that will enable the Internet to act as a giant computer, he said. It will be an open protocol, it won’t be supported by a company, it will be supported by whoever connects their computers to that protocol.

Williams states that the Internet computer is interesting for a number of reasons: it can host traditional business systems by acting as a cloud and it will provide an alternative hosting platform compared to Amazon or Google Cloud.

It will provide a different kind of technology stack, he added. The total cost of ownership of these business systems will be dramatically lower.

According to the website, supporting human capital required could see costs cut by as much as 90 percent.

In addition to businesses, Williams is hoping that decentralized applications will be built on the DFINITY network, such as Uber, Dropbox, or eBay, according to a company statement.

The DFINITY team is truly exceptional, said Ryan Zurer, Venture Partner at Polychain. What DFINITY is building represents one of the most important technological innovations that we have ever seen since the very creation of the blockchain.

Some of the funding is also expected to go toward creating a ‘NASA for decentralization.’

Williams explained that with millions of companies on the Internet computer it requires a ‘team of thousands of people’ to analyze the performance of the computer as well as search for security threats.

The team is hoping for a beta version of the network to be up and running later this year.

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